How to Grow a Pineapple
The first thing you need to grow a pineapple is a pineapple. The pineapple (ananas comosus) is a bromeliad; in fact, one of the few in its family that is edible. However, the fruit of an unripe pineapple is poisonous and will irritate both your mouth and throat. Even the ripe fruit of the houseplant pineapple is not nearly as luscious and sweet as that grown in the sands of the tropics; still, the pineapple is a striking, interesting, and unusual plant to add to your collection.
The pineapple is a biennial. The first year it produces leaves and the second year it produces the flowering stalk that becomes the fruit. Actually, the pineapple flower becomes the popular fruit. A small leaf-like cluster produces up to 200 dagger shaped bracts that are the flowers. These flowers have immature ovaries that are called inflorescences. Each ovary turns into a seedless berry, the berries fuse together into one unit: the multiple fruit or sorosis we call the pineapple.
So how do you grow a pineapple?
To grow a pineapple, purchase a whole one at your local grocery. Cut off the top, making sure your cut contains some of the fruit. Let this dry in the sun for a couple of days. When this plug has "hardened off", plant the top fruit side down. Cover the plug only enough to make sure it is firmly seated in your pot. Water the plant weekly until it is established; then water only when the sand is dry to your touch.
One of the interesting parts of growing pineapple plants is that they absorb nutrients and moisture through their leaves more than through their roots. When you water a pineapple plant, pour the water into the vase-like center of the leaves. Alternatively, you can mist the leaves with a spray bottle, concentrating the spray near the center of the plant, but continuing until the surrounding sand is damp.
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